"When You're Still On The Net..."


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From those wonderful folks (me) who brought you those Dern Internet Song Parodies like "Batch Up Your Shellscripts", "We've Grepped a Little List", and "I Get No CIX Out of You":

by Daniel P. Dern ddern@world.std.com

Copyright (c) 1996, 1997 Daniel P. Dern

"I care not who writes the Internet's protocols/
So long as I can keep writing snappy songs like this."

[To the tune (not butchered as much as one might expect, although more than I think, and retaining as much rhyme, scansion and plot parallelism as possible, except where cheap shots took priority, especially if you take it even faster than the already-inhuman pace) of "When You're Lying Awake," from Act II of Gilbert & Sullivan's IOLANTHE. If anyone ends up actually singing this, please send me a tape!]

--- * ---

Copyright (c) 1994, 1997 Daniel P. Dern. May be freely reposted to mailing lists, Usenet Newsgroups, Web sites, and other free-for-access online sites/forums, providing this notice is intact; all other interested parties please contact author.

--- * ---

The near-obligatory URLs for related stuff:

{RECIT.}
URLs, unresolv-ed, rob me of my life,
    Sites, unreferred sites, my Web browser encounters;
Designs, graphic-rife, flow slowly down my pipe,
   And cache themselves on my disk in unsightly numbers.

{SONG}

When you're still on the net and you aren't done yet --
    you've been searching the web for a night or three --
You probably wish you could use better clients to cruise
    instead of free betas of Netscape or MSIE.
For your browser keeps crashing, your plug-in's are thrashing 
    And the Winsock can't find your Win32s,
And you've asked AltaVista to find Web sites in Worcester *
    When your CSLIP line dies right from under you.

       [ * Pronounced "wiss-tuh" by its inhabitants. - DPD ]

Then the RAM cache's congests and you feel like Wayne Gret-
    sky's shooting you from one link to another
Or you get "404" error screens by the score, and "cookie
    expired"s from most others.
Then your PointCast screen freezes, RealAudio sneezes, and 
    your icons lose half of their pixels,
Next your pointer disolves, DNS won't resolve and
    your avatar claims it has measles.

Well, you manage to score a few files via Eudora, with BinHex 3
    and Uuencoding
Though you show concern at sections called WINMAIL.DAT
    which fill you with dismay and forboding.
For you fear you've been given a "network computer" 
    to access the Internet's sites with
And it's something between a large adding machine
     and a TRS-80 that's diskless.

And you're caught in a thread (Usenet somehow's not dead) with a
    troller and AOL users
They're a clue-impaired bunch, and they post all through lunch 
    and insist that they're not net-abusers.
And logging back on your system, you find the sysadmin (who
    was hired that morning at seven)
Has set all files to Root, and has tried to reboot
    the cafeteria's microwave oven.

Well, your drivers are gone on your segment of LAN (now running
    IPng and frame relay),
And your latency's more than your buffers can store --
    while your apps cannot tolerate delay.
Worse, this jitters the packets transporting voice traffic
    while the UPS tries to recycle,
So you don your T-shirt (Vint Cerf's "IP o'er the Earth")
    and steal Steve Robert's high-tech bicycle.
                                 
But Steve's gone adrift on his new micro-ship, broadcasting
    CU-SeeMe on the MBONE,
Hawking ads on small web sites, "YOUR URL HERE FOR HALF PRICE~"
    and useful stuff they can order by net-phone.
It's a scheme of investors to IPO "best of's" Internet
    ideas, schemes and inventions
Which will make money fast (though the value won't last)
    (which some suspect are the founders' intentions).

You get a few hackers to write code that crackers 
    will find holes in faster than you can fix 'em
But keep issuing betas which are free -- now -- but
    time out after you've got your hooks in.
It's a virtual world index -- robot agents in Spandex --
    harvesting full-text that is key-word searchable.
Plus repurposed content, Java, frames, and links on it
    to robocams in Bill Gates' dirigible.

The shares top one-eighty and all lots, they are taken
    by founders and VCs,
And just after you get to purchase a few, their market share
    goes all to pieces,

You're an Internet geek, been online for a week, and 
    pizza crusts fill the hall, no one wants to call
    'cause you've not had a bath for a month and a half,
    and your passwords won't work, Web chats won't let you lurk,
    your home page's on Mirsky, you're terribly thirsty,
    and your screen needs degaussing and your desk drawers de-mousing,
    and your boss says your progress's impounded by Congress,
    and your config files are long past restoring...

But the whole net has crashed, and your work has been trashed, 
    and your account's out of reach -- ditto this Dern pastiche --
   but you'll be back -- with a Mac -- in the morning.

Daniel P. Dern, August 1996


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Last modified: Tuesday, 16-Oct-2001 11:08:15 EDT